Part of the point of the new creation launched at Easter was the transformation of roles and vocations: from Jews-only to worldwide, from monoglot to multilingual (think of Pentecost), and from male-only leadership to male and female together. — N.T. Wright
The doors of his heart are wedged open wide, and in rushes the whole pestilential flood, the vile and roiling tide of cruelties and failures and secrets. Let me take that from you, he is saying. Give that to me instead. Let me carry it. Let me be to blame instead. I am big enough. I am wide enough. I am not what you were told. I am not your king or your judge. I am the father who longs for every last one of his children. I am the friend who will never leave you. I am the light behind the darkness. I am the shining your shame cannot extinguish. I am the ghost of love in the torture chamber. I am change and hope. I am the refining fire. I am the door where you thought there was only wall. I am what comes after deserving. I am the earth that drinks up the bloodstain. I am gift without cost. I am. I am. I am. Before the foundations of the world, I am.
But it is killing him all the same. — Francis Spufford, Unapologetic, p. 144 (via invisibleforeigner)
The free God of the stable and the cross, the wordless stranger, because he is no part of the policy and program of me and those who think like me, can be known as the God who is there for all—for the enemy and the outcast and all who are not just “like me” or “like us.” “God so loved the world”—not the church, not the Moral Majority, not the Ministry of Defense or the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, not Iran or Iraq, but the world. He condemns not the world, but the fantasies of absolute rightness that torture and disfigure the world. In the minds of some, there is a God who blesses the atrocities of an anticommunist crusade in Nicaragua, or a God who supports the violence of Palestinians and black Africans but not that of their enemies, or a God who declares his wrath at male homosexual promiscuity by striking dead children and hemophiliacs and heterosexual Africans with AIDs. Such a God is the silent, passive, swaddled doll, glass-eyed and waxed lipped, of out anxious fantasy—a tribal fetish. God save us from such a god!
But he has. On this happy morning, we give thanks that the true God is with us, sweeping away our tribalism, our moral smugness, our religious fuss. The idols fall and perish. The inarticulate crying and the incomprehensible laughter of a real, fleshly child wake us out of our deathlike sleep and life begins: the life of patient and loving attention to our great lover, the slow learning of a new language and a new world we can share with him. — Rowan Williams
(Source: orangieporangiepuddingpie, via happinessweareallinittogether)
Our grammar often betrays us. We say we have a body. That seems to suggest that I am something distinguishable from my body. In good capitalist fashion, the body becomes another possession I can use as I see fit. But Paul does not think there is an “I” that has a body. We are our bodies. And the body we are together is one that has been bought with a price. Our bodies are, therefore, not our own to do with as we please. Rather our bodies are a resting place for the Holy Spirit. Paul even seems to think that what our bodies do and do not do makes a difference for our ability to be a holy people. — Stanley Hauerwas, Working With Words (via invisibleforeigner)
We’ve got the most important job in the world. We’ve got to be literate in Scripture and literate in culture, because we are charged with painting a vivid picture of an alternative kingdom to the world, and even with the Spirit on our side it’s going to take all we’ve got. We can’t afford to get pulled into the soundbite stupidity of our times, much less speak in soundbites ourselves. There is no place in the world where people should be forced to think harder about God, life and the world than where the people of God gather. — Jonathan Martin
Tell me your story, the story of your pain, the story of your failures and I can tell you my story and somewhere we will be coming together. Forgiveness is a long road. It is based on the knowledge that each person is important, that each person is precious, that each person can change, that I can change and you can change. In the old days, we used to say,’If you change I will love you.’ Now we’re beginning to say, `If I love you, you will change and I too will change. If you discover that somebody really loves you, really appreciates you, understands you, listens to you, then you begin to change. You come out from behind the the barriers of fear you have constructed around your heart. — Jean Vanier, Encountering ‘the Other’
Do you know what sin is? It’s when there is a barrier between you and me. Between me and God, between me and myself. It is a wall, a wall so that we cannot speak to each other. We don’t encounter others, because we are so certain that we are right; `You have nothing to bring me. I don’t need you.’ Then the next day John the Baptist sees Jesus again and says here is the Lamb of God who takes away this terrible barrier, which prevents us meeting ourselves, meeting the other, meeting truth and meeting God. At that moment two of the disciples break off from their master and teacher, John the Baptist. They start following Jesus. And the first words of Jesus in this Gospel, as he turns around are, ‘What are you looking for? What do you want?’ (John 1:38) These are the first words of Jesus to each of us. `What do you want? What is it you want really? What is deepest within you? Where is your desire, your thirst, your hope?’ Jesus doesn’t tell people what to do. He asks them a question. `What are seeking as you begin to follow me?’ — Jean Vanier, Encountering ‘the Other’
Transcribed data culled from sources in the first half of August 2012 against Muslim communities in the United States -
ONTARIO, California. Worshippers said two women threw the three legs onto the driveway of the proposed Al-Nur Islamic Center in Ontario shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday and sped away in a white pickup.
NORTH SMITHFIELD, Rhode Island. Muslims from a North Smithfield mosque are asking for extra protection after a sign outside their place of worship was vandalized over the weekend. North Smithfield police confirmed they are studying surveillance video recorded around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. That’s when a person was seen driving into the mosque’s parking lot and smashing the sign with a hammer.
MORTON GROVE, Illinois. The shots were heard by worshipers who were outside the mosque and were powerful enough to damage the building’s brick wall.
LOMBARD, Illinois. The prepertrators hurled a 7-Up bottled filled with acid at the school during Ramadan prayers.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma. Authorities are investigating after vandals fired paintballs at an Oklahoma City mosque. ‘A car pulled here in front of the main entrance and started shooting paintball guns, but at the time, I didn’t know it was that. I thought it was bullets they were shooting into the building.’
JOPLIN, Missouri. A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center.
MURFREESBORO, Tennessee. They’d waited more than two years for the opening of their new Islamic center, delayed by legal wrangling and anti-Muslim sentiment that surfaced through protests, arson and vandalism.
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey didn’t mince words.
‘You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult, whatever you want to call it,’ he said during his failed run for governor.
A sign announcing the new center was vandalized. The message said: ‘Not welcome.’
This is outright terrorism. Why aren’t media outlets and political figures discussing this like other crimes are discussed? If this had happened to a non-Muslim white body by a Muslim, the entire media would have gone insane with its coverage, politicians would have denounced constantly and clearly the danger of Islamic terrorism but now that Muslims communities are being attacked with vandalism, air rifle shootings and acid among other forms of violence, I don’t hear anyone except the communities themselves crying for help.
Why can’t I hear you, America?
and with the possibility of the next president having all the cultural tact of Pol Pot’s right leg I do feel sorry for all you guys stateside. Lord have mercy.